Chocolate Eclairs

Lord Preston owner of Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, was an Ambassador to the Palace of Versailles and as a tribute to his time in such a prestigious position the chefs here have developed the recipe for these elegant eclairs, I like to imagine them served on the beautiful porcelain displayed in the Drawing Room.

Makes 14

Prep 30 minutes

Cook 18-20 minutes

Ingredients

Choux Pastry -

Little butter for greasing

150ml/1/4 pt water

55g/2oz unsalted butter, diced

1 tsp caster sugar

70g/2 1/2oz plain flour

Pinch sea salt

2 eggs, beaten

Filling -

225ml/8fl oz double cream

Icing -

55g/2oz dark chocolate, chopped

1tsp butter

2tbsp water

85g/3oz icing sugar, sifted

Method

1. To make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with a little butter.

2. Add the water, butter and sugar to a medium saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil, take the pan off the heat, sieve in the flour and salt and then quickly return to a high heat and stir constantly for 2 minutes until the mixture thickens and forms a smooth ball that leaves the sides of the saucepan cleanly. Stand the saucepan in cold water to cool for 20 minutes.

3. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth.

4. Spoon the choux paste into a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm/1/2-inch plain tube. Pipe 7 ½ /3-inch lengths onto the greased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen and crisp.

5. Slit down one side of each éclair with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

6. Lightly whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft swirls. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a slightly smaller tube, then pipe into the eclairs.

7. Set a heatproof bowl over the saucepan of gently simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate, butter and water to the bowl and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted.

8. Stir in the sieved sugar a little at a time until smooth and glossy.

9. Spoon the chocolate icing over the top of the eclairs then smooth with a small palette knife. Leave in a cool place to set.

Lamb and Hawkshead Red Ale Stew

This dish was created by the team who work in the Sticklebarn, a pub in the Lake District owned and run by the Trust. It celebrates the local Herdwick lamb, an ancient but now rare breed of sheep famously farmed by Beatrix Potter, an award-winning Hawkshead Red beer, a local bitter made in an independent brewery with just five brewers. It’s the English hops and Dark Crystal malt that gives the beer its red colour and bittersweet, rich and fruity flavour which, when slowly cooked with lamb, makes the most delicious meltingly tender stew.

Serves 4

Prep 20 minutes

Cook 3-5 hours

Ingredients

Lamb Stew

1 tbsp vegetable oil

200g/7oz red onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp dark brown sugar

4 tbsp red wine

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

170ml/6fl oz Hawkshead Red beer

600g/1lb 5oz Herdwick lamb shoulder, diced

2 stems fresh rosemary, leaves picked off the stalks

Salt

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 bay leaf

150-300ml/5-10fl oz lamb or beef stock

1 tbsp cornflour, optional

Roasted Vegetables

300g/10 1/2oz small new potatoes, scrubbed, half

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

125g/4 1/2oz carrots, halves, thinly sliced

140g/5oz or 8 small pickling onions or shallots, peeled, halved

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the red onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring from time to time, for about 20 minutes until caramelised. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the sugar has become a sticky glaze.

2. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and balsamic vinegar, adding a little splash of beer. Continue to cook for ¾ minutes until reduced by half.

3. Add the diced lamb, rosemary and a little salt and stir so that the meat is coated with the onion and wine reduction. Cover and cook over a low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring from time to time until the lamb is sealed and has a good colour. Pour in the rest of the beer, the tomato puree and the bay leaf. Cover and simmer gently 2-4 hours or until the meat is tender stirring occasionally so that the meat doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan and topping up the liquid with stock as needed.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190c/375f/gas mark 5. Add the new potatoes to a roasting tin. Mix 2 tablespoons of the oil with the chopped garlic and drizzle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. To make the roasted vegetables, add the carrots, celery and onions to the potatoes, drizzle with the remaining oil and stir together. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Cover and set aside until the lamb is cooked.

6. Add the roasted vegetables to the lamb stew, cook for 10 minutes until piping hot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and thicken the sauce with a little cornflour, mixed with a little water if needed.

7. Cook’s Tip If you don’t live near the Lake District then a large half shoulder of lamb from the supermarket can be used instead. Take the meat off the bone and dice. Alternatively, try using a diced fillet of lamb. Substitute a fruity craft beer or stout in place of the specialist beer above.

Chana Masala

Lord Curzon of Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, was Viceroy of India and based in the south of the country where this typical chickpea curry origins. The chefs at Kedleston developed this great vegan main course after hearing that more and more of the café customers were requesting meat-free dishes.

Serves 4-6

Prep 25 minutes

Cook 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

2 x 400g/14oz cans chickpeas

Coconut Paste -

100g/3 1/2oz fresh coconut pieces

50g/1 3/4oz cashew nuts

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2tsp poppy seeds

Whole Garam Masala -

3-4 cloves

2.5cm/1 inch piece cinnamon stick

1 cardamom pod, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

Curry Sauce -

2 tbsp vegetable oil

340g/12oz onion, quartered

3 green chillies, halved, deseeded

2.5cm/1 inch piece root ginger, peeled, grated

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

300g/10 1/2oz or 3 tomatoes Salt to taste

1 tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground coriander

450ml/16lf oz water

To finish -

1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander, plus a little extra to garnish

1/4tsp ground garam masala

Salt to taste

1tsp fresh lemon juice

Method

1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, add to a saucepan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 ½- 1 ½ hours until tender.

2. Finely chop all the ingredients for the coconut paste in a food processor, then gradually blend in a little water to make a paste. Scoop into a bowl and reserve.

3. To make the curry sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the whole garam masala ingredients and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes to release the flavour.

4. Finely chop the onion and green chilli in the food processor, add to the pan and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until softened and transparent. Add the grated ginger and chopped garlic and fry until it loses its raw smell, for about 5 minutes.

5. Chop 100g/3 1/2oz or 1 tomato and puree the rest in the food processor. Stir the chopped tomato into the onion mix with a little salt, and cook until softened. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Stir in all the dry spices. Pour in two third of the water, mix together and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the coconut paste and the remaining water and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

7. Drain and add the cooked chickpeas to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

8. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and ground garam masala over the top, mix together and season to taste with salt and lemon juice, if using. Garnish with extra chopped coriander and serve with poori or pilau rice.

Cook’s Tip This recipe is also great if using dried chickpeas that have been rehydrated. If you have a pressure cooker you can greatly reduce the cooking time of the chickpeas by adding soaked chickpeas and measured fresh water to the base of the pressure cooker – check the manual for amounts of water and cooking timings.

Apple & Raspberry Flummery

Flummeries, a form of blancmange, date back to medieval times, but were a particularly popular dessert in Tudor days.

Serves 4

Ingredients

250g / 10 oz Bramley apples, peeled and cut into small pieces

125g / 5 oz Raspberries

250ml / ½ pt water

30g /1oz butter

120g / 4oz flour

120g / 4oz sugar

1 egg, separated

1/2 lemon juice and zest.

Cream to decorate

Method

1. Cook the apples and raspberries in a little water until soft, then sieve to produce a smooth puree. Allow to cool.

2. Heat the ½ pint of water and the butter together in a saucepan until hot but not boiling, then remove from the heat.

3. Mix the flour and sugar together and stir in, beating until smooth.

4. Whisk the egg yolk into the mixture, return to the heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes; do not allow to boil, the mixture will become very thick so make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

5. Stir the lemon juice into the apple and raspberry puree and add to the mixture, stirring through until evenly combined and the mixture is smooth.

6. Leave to cool a little.

7. Whisk the egg white until it stands up in soft peaks and fold into the blackberry mixture. Turn into a serving dish and chill well.

8. Cook’s Tip Other soft fruit, such as raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants etc. can be used in place of the apples.